Unfortunately – nor recording today, but here is my full notes…
One of my favourites songs of the early 90’s was Right here, right now by Jesus Jones.
Catchy chorus “Right here, right now, there’s no other place I’d rather be. Right here, right now watching the world wake up from history”
Inspired by seeing the fall of communism at the turn of that decade.
Song full of hope and destiny for the world was changing.
Question I’ve got this morning is are you full of hope, destiny and purpose?
Do you know why you are alive?
Takeaway for this morning going to be: Whether I stay or go, I’m going to live sent
Fact is God has placed us right here, right now –
Don’t wish you were living some place else, some other time. God’s placed you right here, right now for a purpose
Acts 17:26-28 – Paul talking to the men of Athens, where there was a lot of religious statues. He was telling them who the statue to “the unknown God” was about – God
Allotted time, allotted place – so that you would seek God and find Him, because he is not far away.
Seekers – coming because you have made some friends. Really…
Chosen us to be loved by Him and holy
Save you be grace, keep you in grace
Stop trying to earn God’s favour
Created for some good works, he prepared beforehand
Encourage someone at work, you are doing a good work God has prepared for you beforehand.
If you are a teacher and you make a difference in a difficult child’s life in the classroom, you are doing a good work God has prepared for you beforehand.
If you are in the medical profession and you save someone’s life, or restore dignity, or improve their life somehow, you are doing a good work God has prepared for you beforehand.
If you are a social worker and you rescue a child or vulnerable adult from harm and place them somewhere where they will be cared for, loved and nurtured, you are doing a good work God has prepared for you beforehand.
So many more examples.
If your job is really boring, but you do it to the best of your ability as if working for the Lord, , you are doing a good work God has prepared for you beforehand.
Talk to someone about Jesus, you are joining the conversation the Spirit is already having with them
Attitude is whether I stay or god, I’m going to live sent.
Press rewind. All about Jesus and He was sent!
At the start of his ministry He went to the synagogue on a Sabbath and providentially it was His turn to read from Isaiah 61.
Pick up the story in Luke 4:17-21 – If you using a paper Bible you can stick your finger in Isa61 and see which bits He missed out!
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me – only an illustrious few in the OT about 150 and no-one for 400 years.
Anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor – the poor generally only get bad news, now there’s some good news
Sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives – freedom is coming
Recovering of sight for the blind – healing
Set at liberty those who are oppressed – spiritually and physically
Proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
Sat down – because that’s how they taught – Boys, I’m here!
Jesus was sent by the Father to do Isaiah 61 – Acts 10:38 tells us the Father anointed Jesus of Nazereth was anointed – there#s that word again, we’ll look at that later on. Anointed with power to do good and heal all who were oppressed of the devil.
We carry that same anointing too – to do good and heal!
Then they put him to death – thinking it would get rid of Him. But it tuns out it was the Father’s master plan. Jesus died for our sin in our place. Then he rose again and made earthly appearances for forty days before ascending to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father praying for us.
In those earthly appearances – Jesus sent us.
Turn with me to John 20:19-23
One of Jesus resurrection appearances was to the 11 disciples hidden in a locked room quaking with fear. He walks through a wall to appear to them and says”Peace be with you!” – probably the wisest words to hear when someone has walked through a wall!
Once he had gone through the preliminaries of establishing it really was Him, Jesus says this
“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Christians are a sent people = we are sent by Jesus to do what we do in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Sarah had some prophetic insight a few years ago about The Gateway Church – gates are places that people come in and go out. We are always going to be drawing people in and sending people out.
In our early days we had an upsetting season where a group of people left because they didn’t like the church – that’s not sending, that’s consumer Christianity moving onto a different church, which I understand many have left now too!
Sending is different. This year more people left for job moves and postings than any other year. These were dear friends we made, who became Christians, or grasped grace, or were filled with the Spirit (and all three) in their time with us. As they went we prayed for some on Sunday and some in small groups as we sent them on to carry what they got hold of here to new places. That’s part of what it means to be “sending people out”. It’s wonderful, but it’s hard. Dear friends moving on so you do get to life with them is tough and there’s grieving. But it is what we are called too. I’ve found myself praying for people who will stay long term to be drawn in as well as people we build into for a season.
Whether you stay or go, live sent!
What does it mean to be sent?
I mentioned earlier God created us for good works that he has prepared for us in advance – God’s setting up things we can do, people we can minister to, tasks that we can perform, for Him, with Him in the power of the Spirit. Living your life day by day as if you are sent to do that pleases the Lord and will grow His kingdom!
John 15:16 tells us Jesus chose us to bear fruit that abides. We are sent to be fruitful in what we do.
In Relational Mission we’ve begun to talk about an equation E+E=C
Two thrusts within our family and a result.
First E – Enough – a season of extraordinary prayer meetings that says ENOUGH to some of the awful things in our world that need kingdom breakthrough. When we pray God changes things and us. We are sent to Pray
Second E – Everyone a witness
Key thrust of the great commission passages like the one we are in John 20:19-23 and Matt 28:19-20 is the sending to make disciples. To take the mission of Jesus Luke 4 – bringing good news to the poor, proclaiming freedom, healing the sick and do it in our churches.
Janet’s Team fishing – where we all get to use our strengths in team to reach friends, family and neighbours.
Connectors, Reasoning, Serving, Storytelling, Power & Harvesting styles
There’s three ways we do that
Words – Jesus sends us with words to share. Jesus said my teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. We have the words of God to bring to those around us. Those of you who have the reasoning style, harvesting style or storytelling styles will be particularly active in that. We are sent to bring words.
Works- We are sent to do the works of the Father, opportunities he has set up for us from before time, that uniquely fit us. Kat Taylor from the foodbank was telling us some stories of ways in which as they serve the poor with food parcels they get to pray for people and see situations changed as answers to prayer. Servants and Power style people, be sent to do this!
Wonders – The gospel is confirmed with signs and wonders. Blind eyes seeing, legs growing, deaf ears hearing. Power style folks, be sent to do that.
Being sent means that whether you stay or go, live sent. Live sent in your homes, schools, workplaces. Bring and be the blessing of God wherever and whenever. Don’t just live for you, your pleasure and some more money. Live sent.
Where are we sent?
Right here, right now is where God has placed you and sent you. He has anointed you for the unique situation you are in.
Church Planting – We live in a nation where only 7% attend church and in Europe there are 250,000 villages, towns and cities without an evangelistic witness at all. Over the coming years, God will send teams out from here to plant churches in the region in towns like Boston and Fakenham and to Northern Europe. Is God calling you to go? Or is he calling you to stay. I dare you to ask Him and let Him speak.
Whether you go or stay, live sent.
Last bit of John’s version of the great commission contains an anointing from the Spirit which causes great confusion – was the Spirit given at Easter or Pentecost. John’s purpose in his Gospel is theological more than chronological.
Our being sent requires power, so he places Jesus breathing the Spirit on them where he does. He is writing to churches who have already received the Spirit and so ties being filled with the Spirit to being sent on a mission. Luke, who is the great early church historian, does this when Jesus tells them to wait to receive power to be witnesses.
To live sent we need the breath of the Spirit, the same anointing of power that Jesus had.